Hello from slushy Madison. After a week of relatively good (for February in Wisconsin) weather, Sunday brought rain, snow, and slush.
Photo, Feb 19, 2011, UK Daily Mail
Networks and local TV and radio coverage don't capture what is going on, partly because most news outlets are corporately owned. Being part of a very diverse Saturday crowd of 70,000+ who support workers' rights was a wonderful experience. While our local Fox outlet worded things so that there was an implication that the 80,000 crowd was split between the tea party folks and workers' rights group, there were a fraction of (far less diverse) tea baggers. Things have been very peaceful all week.
If you watch the video links below, note the mix of ages, colors, unions, etc. represented. Our University of Wisconsin TAA is the oldest in the US, and they are superb. For those who want to portray Madison as a bunch of left-over hippies, wrong. Those occupying the Capitol weren't born and most have little knowledge of the Vietnam War riots.
Part 1: http://www.vimeo.com/20089255
Part 2: http://www.vimeo.com/20168864
Our part-time teachers' union (many members are past and present TA's) has no flag, bagpipes, or drums, but many of us demonstrated every day inside and outside the Capitol and will continue to participate as we are able. As those with full benefits and good pay look at losing those, we hope they come to understand and appreciate our world of few or no benefits and low pay. We did gain a voice when we became a union in 1996, and now that voice is threatened.
There are relatively simple solutions to the WI budget non-crisis. A one cent sales tax would take care of much, but the Republicans have made "no tax increase" into a religion. Corporations pay very little state tax in Wisconsin. The tax on beer hasn't been raised in decades. The crushing of unions has nothing to do with the fiscal mess – it's a pure power play.
100 Best Protest Banners... and from the end-of-email-message banner of our AFT Local 6100 VP Bob Curry: SUPPORT THE HEROIC WIS-SENATE 14 !!!! (5 states don't have bargaining rights for teachers. They rank 44, 47, 48, 49 & 50 in ACT/SAT scores. Wis ranked 2nd.) In solidarity, Nancy ~ visit TAA on Facebook
It was nice to see supportive Californian Sandy Baringer today in Madison. She braved the drive from Iowa, no fun with our wintry weather. However, protests continue.
100 Best Protest Banners... and from the end-of-email-message banner of our AFT Local 6100 VP Bob Curry:
SUPPORT THE HEROIC WIS-SENATE 14 !!!!
(5 states don't have bargaining rights for teachers. They rank 44, 47, 48, 49 & 50 in ACT/SAT scores. Wis ranked 2nd.)
In solidarity, Nancy ~ visit TAA on Facebook